The annual testicular cycle of the house gecko Hemidactylus flaviviridis in Oman was studied. Plasma testosterone (T), estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) concentrations were measured using a sensitive HPLC-MS/MS detection technique. The ultrastructural steroidogenic features in Sertoli and Leydig cells, which were the major source of steriodogenesis, were examined, using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, progesterone receptors (PR) were examined throughout the testicular cycle, using an immunohistochemical technique. The steroidogenic ultrastructural features were characterized by the presence of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) in the form of cisternal whorls and tubular cisternae, presence of swollen vesiculated mitochondria, and association between SER, mitochondria and lipid droplets. The rise in plasma steroid concentrations was closely associated with the development of the ultrastructural features and PR expression in Leydig and Sertoli cells. During the active phase (November-May), there was a significant rise in plasma steroid concentrations (P<0.05) related to well developed steroidogenic features and strongly expressed PR. During the quiescent phase (June-August) there was a significant decline in plasma steroid concentrations, undeveloped steroiodogenic features and weakly expressed PR. The Renal Sexual Segment (RSS) was fully developed during the active phase. The data provides strong evidence that these ultrastructural steroidogenic features were related to the plasma sex steroid concentrations during the testicular cycle.
- Leydig cell
- Sertoli cell
- Ultrastructural steroidogenic features
ASJC Scopus subject areas